Nursing in Australia- 3 Step Procedure

Step 1

To work as a nurse, and before you will be able to be considered for a migration to Australia based on the fact that you are a nurse, you will need to meet the registration requirements of

There are Five Criteria that are used in assessing your application for registration:

Criterion 1 – Proof of identity

You will need to provide a range of ‘proof of identity documents including:

Criterion 2 – English language proficiency

You must demonstrate the required score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Occupational English Test (OET) for Nurses, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT.

You only need to pass one of these tests.

The results are only relevant for two years after the examination.


You must achieve a minimum score of seven in each of the four components – listening, reading, writing and speaking.


You must achieve a minimum score of B in each of the four components – listening, reading, writing and speaking.


You must achieve a minimum overall score of 65 AND a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.


You must achieve a minimum score of 94 AND the following minimum scores in each section of the test – 24 listening, 24 reading, 27 writing and 23 speaking.

Criterion 3 – Meet education standards.

If you are qualified as a nurse in one of the following countries with a bachelor degree (at level 7) or a diploma (level 5)* as well as further education, and you are registered as a first level nurse in one of these countries you are likely to meet the equivalent qualification as a nurse qualified in Australia:

The NMBA has found that nursing qualifications in the following countries may meet the requirements of quality assurance and accreditation in Australia:

*If you only have a diploma from one of the countries listed above you will require an assessment of your further education or experience to determine if you are deemed to be equivalent to a nurse qualified in Australia.

Nurses from countries not listed above will require an individual assessment to determine whether their qualifications and experience will be recognized by the Board.All applicants must provide a graduation certificate and basic transcripts.

Criterion 4 – Professional practice as a Nurse or Midwife

Prior to submitting your application, you must provide evidence of having practised as a nurse or midwife in the five years

You will be required to submit professional references that must meet the following criteria:

Criterion 5 – Prove that you are fit to practice in Australia

You must prove that:

If you don’t meet the requirements because your qualifications or experience are not recognized, you might want to consider pursuing a ‘Training visa – subclass 407’ to allow you to undertake a bridging program to improve your skills.

Step 2 – Submit your application for registration with AHPRA

If you meet the criteria in step 1, then you need to submit your application for registration to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Step 3 – Get a VISA

Once registered with AHPRA as a nurse you then need a VISA to be allowed to live and work in Australia. There are a number of VISA’s available.

If you are able to secure sponsorship by an employer, one of the following VISA types will be appropriate:

If you are not sponsored by an employer, you can pursue a VISA under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) provisions of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship


Course Duration

It generally takes 1.5 to 2 years to complete a Diploma of Nursing. One can specialise in different areas including general nursing, medical administration, and infection control.

Course Structure

The course comprises 25 units (20 core units and 5 elective units). It is delivered by a combination of theory, laboratory, simulated practice and professional experience placements.


Course Duration

It typically takes 3 years full time or equivalent part-time to complete a Bachelor of Nursing. Major areas of study include anatomy and physiology, community care nursing, mental health nursing, acute care nursing and medical surgical nursing with an emphasis on research-based practice.

Course Structure


Course Duration

It takes two years of full-time or four years of part-time study to complete a Master of Nursing. Major areas of study include Professional Nursing, Emergency Care, Palliative Care, Mental Health, Chronic Care Nursing Practice and Clinical Education.

Course Structure

The first year covers the social context of nursing in general and the Australian health system while the second year covers the comprehensive nursing practice across different care contexts or facilities.